While still fiddling with the Serbs, I’ve taken the opportunity of a diversion by painting some more figures for the War of the Spanish Succession. Ukrainian manufacturer Strelets keep on making new figures for this period and I keep buying them. This latest box is title British Regiment of Horse (Late War). It features, charmingly, both horses and riders alike at ease and taking the opportunity to either chat, smoke, graze or whinny, depending on whatever takes their fancy.
The regiment I’ve intend to paint have green facings and, as I’ve seen depictions of British Horse at this time having saddle cloths matching the facings rather than the red of their coats, I’ve given the horses green garments. Here’s how my sedentary stallions have turned out;
I’ve painted a grey –
And also some dark bays.
Whilst still not perfect, I do think Strelets horses have improved significantly from their early efforts.
I particularly like their grazing pose, a common enough activity for stationary war horses but one seldom seen sculpted.
Another good choice of pose, horses pawing the ground impatiently waiting for some action!
I assume these are officer’s horses as they have not roll blankets. I’ve given the pistol holders a gold trim to distinguish them.
And the final pose, another one that I’ve never seen before, horses whinnying loudly!
So that’s the horses completed, I’m really keen to start on their pipe-smoking, chatting, dozing and gesturing riders soon.
I have greatly enjoyed painting Strelets new War of the Spanish Succession-era British cavalry. In fact, I think this is one of the best sets I’ve painted of theirs for a while.
The sculpting of Strelets has gone through some changes over the years. Initially, their figures were considered a little ‘ugly’ by some but were infused with lots of character. More recent sculpting has seen their figures become much more anatomically and proportionally accurate but at the loss of some of that personality. This latest set happily seems to combine a little of both.
My regiment of horse has black facings and white hat lace around the tricornes (except the officers who have gold).
Having painted much Saxon infantry recently, I declared in a recent post that I’d paint them as Saxon cavalry – Beust’s regiment. This move was also inspired by my misplacing a key War of the Spanish Succession source book. I’ve now recovered it and have discovered that my figures could also possibly pass for the Schomberg’s Regiment of Horse (later in the century becoming known as the 7th Dragoon Guards).
There are four command figures, including two officers, a trumpeter and a standard bearer.
The two officers:
For the standard bearer below I’ve provided a guidon freely downloaded from the Tacitus website. I’ve changed the colour to a black to match their facings. Lit by lamps and photographed, it appears a little grey in images. The flag bears a very good resemblance to the regiment’s black damask flag from 1788.
Schomberg’s Horse had the origins of its lineage going back to December 1688 as one of a number of regiments of horse raised for William of Orange after he took the throne to replace James II. The regiment was present at all of the Duke of Marlborough’s major battles of the War of the Spanish Succession – Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde and Malplaquet.
Troopers at the trot or canter:
Troopers at the charge!
All in all, a fine addition to my Lace Wars project. I’ve a couple more boxes of cavalry to paint from Strelets for this era, so happily there are more to come!
I’m back painting cavalry again. The last cavalry I painted were Ottoman Sipahi back in November last year. This is the first cavalry regiment for my Lace Wars armies. The figures I’m using are Strelets new “British Cavalry” of the era 1701 to 1714.
With my 2021 being so focussed upon painting Saxon infantry, I immediately thought about painting them as Saxon cavalry. The Saxon armies infantry and cavalry colours being so similar to British regiments, figures could be easily used interchangeably on the wargaming field of battle. Once again, the glorious Tacitus website has lots of information on Saxon cavalry and after mulling over the options I’ve decided to paint them as Beust’s Regiment of Cuirassiers which had red coats and black distinctions.
I’ve started on the horses first and it felt good to be back painting them again. Strelets horses have not traditionally been rated very highly, their principal problem (I always felt) was that they were too chunky being very over-fed equines with seriously stocky legs. Strelets equine sculpting has certainly improved over the years, I think. These horses are very decent indeed and much better proportioned.
Strelets have mostly sorted the legs out. Always a tricky challenge for the sculptor, these horses are much better proportioned while the gait seems more natural and sensible than inn previous sets. I’m also particularly impressed with the detail on the horse tack, cheek pieces and bits being very clear and detailed.
At the moment, my horses are majority reddish bays but I recall Stokes over at The Grand Duchy of Stollen mentioning some time ago that he had painted the majority of his horses for a regiment as chestnuts because he recalled it being described as the most common horse colour in the Napoleonic era. So, with that in mind, I’m going to make a few changes to some to make the manes lighter or the same colour as the coats (i.e. true chestnuts). I may leave some Bays with dark manes and legs.
The all-important riders are next and again Strelets seem to have done a nice job!
It must have been a few years ago now since I joined the crowdfunding of Hat’s Napoleonic Light and Heavy Dragoons sets. At long last, after a number of incidents and issues (retooling and resizing), and much forum commentary (not all being very complimentary), these troubled soldiers finally, belatedly, arrived at Suburban Militarism HQ – and in shockingly bright, red plastic!
With my two boxes, HaT have kindly included their sampler set consisting of 16 more light and heavy dragoons, making for a grand total of 40 British dragoons unexpectedly arriving through the post this week. Plenty more recruits for the Napoleonic Cavalry Project.
I know HaT have taken some stick for the long delays on this crowdfunding project, which is certainly understandable. However, for hobbyists like myself (that’s right; these are not toys because I’m a grown-up, serious, bona-fide hobbyist) at least we can thank them for two shiny brand-new sets of Napoleonic British cavalry.
They’ve been such a long time coming that they almost feel like an unexpected gift from some mysterious benefactor. Given the size of the Great Unpainted Pile, they may be an awful long time before any paint gets applied too…
It’s a Field Day for my Lace Wars legion! At the suggestion of Suburban Militarism friend and follower Markus Sharaput, I thought I’d parade my 2020 vintage War of the Spanish Succession troops as an indication of overall progress:
Well, the good news for the French is that reinforcements are on their way! As I type this, another regiment of white-coated Gallic infantry is already well advanced with paint. More on that anon…
Detail on these HaT figures is a little vague here and there, but I’ve done my best to pick out as much as I can. Never HaT’s strongest point, the horses sculpting are acceptable rather than great, but they’ll do.
The Imperial Mounted Infantry would have looked a little rough and ready. In a muted painting style, I’ve tried to hint at this dusty and threadbare chic and also aim to add a little dust on to their boots when basing.
A private of the 90th Foot in the uniform of the Imperial Mounted Infantry.
Retaining his regimental tunic, he wears corduroy riding breeches, a leather bandolier instead of a belt, riding boots with spurs and carries a Swinburne-Henry carbine.
In my squadron, I’ve included representatives from some of the different regiments which supplied 1st squadron, Imperial Mounted Infantry with troops: mostly the 24th Foot (green facings) and the 80th, (red with yellow collar tabs), but also a few from the 3rd Foot (buff), and the 13th Light Infantry (dark blue).
The mounted poses look perfect for vedettes and scouts, a key role of the MI. Virtually all of their fighting would have been done on foot as infantry, so it’s good there’s some nice dismounted poses too.
This rediscovered old box of figures seems to be missing five horses and until I find replacements, some will have to remain ‘unmounted mounted infantry’:
So, they’re not based yet and I may even stall that process until I find some extra horses for them but I’ve glued some on to spare off-cuts of plastic card ready for when I do! At least, after nearly a decade, these accidental equestrians have finally been painted!
Sorting through my piles of unpainted plastic men in the loft, I came across a box of figures which I’d forgotten about completely. These were amongst the very earliest figures I’d bought when I first decided to attempt painting 1:72 scale plastic figures back in 2011/12.
It was a box of HaT’s British Mounted Infantry of the Zulu Wars. I’d clearly had a little go at putting some paint on some of them but had abandoned progress at some point, possibly when I moved house. Some paint was more or less in the right place but there was none of the painting techniques which I’d gradually developed since then – no black lining, no shading and no highlighting either.
I’d also been a bit lazy with the colour of my facings, opting solely for the 24th Regiment’s green. In reality, the Mounted Infantry drew its men from across many different regiments and the troops retained the tunics and buttons of each meaning their individual regimental facings could be any colour.
Mindful of the April challenge by Ann’s Immaterium, I thought it might be about time to have a proper go at this neglected box. Whether I’ll get them painted by the end of the month is now very debatable but at least I’ll be making a start on them. I seem to be missing a horse from the set, but otherwise it’s all there.
Coincidentally, I had been re-reading some of my many books on the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879:
“Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift” by Ian Knight
“Blood on the Painted Mountain”by Ron Lock (about the battles of Intombi, Hlobane and Khambula)
From these books, I had been refreshing my knowledge of the Imperial Mounted Infantry before I’d even discovered these HaT figures. The formation had a tough time of it during the Anglo-Zulu War. With a chronic lack of regular cavalry available in South Africa, they were much in demand, being active in many encounters with the Zulu all over the country. 1st Squadron suffered particularly badly at the disaster of iSandlwana.
First off, I needed to prime them. For years I’ve painted with Vallejo Acrylics but with these figures I was still using the old Humbrol enamel tinlets. So, I attempted to remove any loose enamel paint (which by and large seemed very well attached to the figures). I then painted them in PVA white glue to a) act as a primer and, b) cover over the enamel. I’ve heard that acrylic paint can react badly to enamels. I’m not sure of this at all but I thought that the PVA would also at least form some sort of a barrier between them.
After that, it was on with the black primer paint and I’m ready to finally finish off what I’d started nearly a decade ago! I’ve made some real progress over the weekend so a report will follow…
For those who may be interested, here are some of my other favourite books on the Zulu War which I’ve collected over the years and which I’d recommend:
“The Washing of the Spears” by Donald R. Morris. The seminal work on the conflict which brought it to 20th Century popularity. Never intended to be an academic work, it has been eclipsed now by modern research but is still an astonishingly rip-roaring read throughout all its hefty 672 pages.
“Zulu Rising” by Ian Knight– Ian Knight’s most recent book on Isandlwana/Rorke’s Drift and packed with the detailed knowledge and passion of many years research. It is particularly strong in its understanding of both Zulu and Natal’s black history and culture.
“Fearful Hard Times” by Ian Knight. Focusing on the less well known actions of Number 1 Column including the battles of Nyezane and Gingindlovu, and the siege of Eshowe.
“The Zulu War: A Pictorial History” by Michael Barthorp. The first book I read on the conflict including many great contemporary photographs. I met Major Barthorp a few times – a wonderfully kind and very generous man to this teenage history geek.
“They Fell Like Stones” by John Young. Detailed lists and information on units and casualties for each battle. Great for data nerds like yours truly!
“Black Soldiers of the Queen” by P.S. Thompson. About the Natal Native Contingent in the conflict, providing a great understanding of these seriously undervalued and overlooked African soldiers who fought and died for the British cause.
I’m starting to find some very useful information about British regiments at the time of the War of the Spanish Succession. A website called The Spanish Succession is dedicated to the WSS and has lots of great and detailed information even on individual regiments including my chosen one; Orkney’s Regiment. The “oldest regiment in the British armed forces” had it’s roots far back in the Swedish army of Gustavus Adolphus of all things!
Ironically, my War of the Spanish Succession regiment even fought for the French army until Charles II ‘asked for it back’ in 1688. This regiment fought in all the major battles of the Duke of Marlborough and around this time became known as ‘The Royal Regiment’.
The Earl of Orkney, who gave him his name to the regiment, was appointed to it’s colonelcy 1692. An experienced soldier, he notably led the final assault at the Battle of Blenheim on the village leading eight battalions of troops before then receiving the final surrender of the French there.
I also found some information on Pinterest about the flags carried into battle by the Royal Regiment / Orkney’s Regiment. My previous regiment had an English flag but being a Scottish regiment, the Orkney’s national flag was carried instead of the Union flag at this time. The design is shown below:
Once again, I had to endure the horrors of painting folded flag drapes. I might neaten up those white lines, but here is the result:
Orkney’s Regiment is described in my copy of “The Armies and Uniforms of Marlborough’s Wars” as having red coats, white facings, grey breeches and yellow lace on the tricornes. The facings later became blue possibly as early as the end of the 17th century but sources depict them still with white cuffs during the Marlburian period. Certainly, artist Bob Marrion preferred to illustrate the regiment with white facings in the aforementioned book.
The figures I’m using are still from Strelets “advancing” set of British infantry figures. Sankey’s Regiment were all marching with arms at the slope, but Orkney’s men are all charging forward with their bayonets ready.
Though the box is finished, Orkney’s Regiment is lacking an officer and also a grenadier company. I’ve ordered more boxes of this series, however, so I can open another and attend to the shortfall in due course!
The War of the Spanish Succession, indeed much the 18th century’s so-called ‘lace wars’, have been significantly overlooked in plastic at 1/72 scale until Strelets began to put things right towards the end of last year. At time of writing, Strelets have four sets slated for release:
British Infantry in Advance (1701-1714)
British Infantry in Attack (1701-1714)
British Infantry Firing Line (1701-1714)
French Fusiliers (Early War)
The first two have been released and the first set has already found its way to Suburban Militarism. This “in Advance” set includes around 20 marching figures and a similar number again advancing with the point of the bayonet – I’ve started with the marching boys.
I’ve been struggling to find Marlburian uniform information on specific regiments on the net, so I may have to turn to actual ye olde books for more info. Eventually, I turned to one of my postcards which was part of a set bought from The Keep Museum in Dorchester about the Devonshire and Dorsetshire Regiments.
The postcard shows an illustration by Rob Chapman of a soldier from Sankey’s Regiment in 1718 (regiments being named at the time after their colonel). Depicted just after the end of the War of the Spanish Succession on ‘sea service’, they would later be numbered as the 39th Regiment of Foot.
I was attracted to painting this regiment by the green facings, yet my copy of W.Y. Carman’s “Richard Simkin’s Uniforms of the British Infantry Regiments” tells me that for this regiment “no distinctive facings may be quoted before 1742” but does have this to say on their subsequent green facings when :
“…pale green was used for the facings and waistcoat. The green was later named as ‘willow green’, ‘popinjay’, ‘light green’ and other variations, no doubt because a fixed shade of green was hard to find in those days when dyes changed under battle conditions.”
In the end, I’ve been happy to go with the illustration and (in the spirit of those endless shades of green that they enjoyed) have given them some lime green facings, to match Rob Chapman’s illustration.
My marching figures are now about 90% finished, but you will note that some work does still remain to be done. This grenadier company above, for example, are still awaiting some attention to their grenadier caps. No idea what the actual caps looked like but I’m thinking some more of that lime green and some other detailing might do the trick.
Also on the march are some sergeants carrying halberds and a couple of officers too wearing their gorgets. The ensign has a black flag which needs painting in some manner too:
Sankey’s Regiment: A brief history
This regiment was orignally named “Colonel Coote’s Regiment” when it was raised in 1702. The said Colonel Richard Coote however was soon to die in a duel to be succeeded by Colonel Sankey, whose name the Regiment then took. Though missing out on all of Marlborough’s great battles of the war, they still campaigned in the Low Countries, France, Germany, Spain and North America. At the battle of Almanza, the regiment mounted mules to earn the ironic nickname “Sankey’s Horse”. After the war, having been raised as infantry and later serving as psuedo-cavalry when mounted on mules, the men found then found themselves acting as marines when on ‘sea-service’!
The remainder of the box I intend to paint up as a different British regiment, though I’ve yet to decide upon which one. Another aspect on my mind is for me a somewhat novel approach to basing, but more on that in another post.
Queen Vic-straw-ia and her Grainadier Guard, my family’s submission to a local village scarecrow-making competition is complete and ready for the crowds of people that visited the displays last year. My wife and daughter created Her Majesty (a very fine job indeed, I’m sure you’ll agree) and I made the guardsman (naturally enough).
In my last post I had finished making the head out of papier mache. Next, I stuffed his uniform with straw and stuck his head to a cardboard tube.
For a belt, I’ve stuck some white paper on to one of my old belts. I notice that the buttons on my uniform are grouped in threes which therefore makes it a Scots Guard! No plume is worn by that regiment, just a bearskin, so that made it easier for me.
For the rifle, I’ve borrowed some (toy) military hardware from the young son of a friend – on the understanding that it is returned to him in the same condition. So, as some temporary modifications I’ve used some brown paper to cover what was a bright green plastic stock. I’m intending to make it less like a lime-green Space Marine’s assault rifle and a tiny bit more like a .303 Lee-Metford or Short Magazine Lee Enfield. The orange end of the barrel seen in the photos above I’ve since covered in black tape.
The hands were a late addition. I was hoping for skin coloured marigolds or maybe white gloves but they’ll have to do. A couple of sturdy wooden poles up the legs and hammered into the ground will, I’m hoping, keep the whole thing upright and standing to attention!
Wait a minute – what’s this just around the corner from our pitch…?
Goddammit! Another one! And we’re gonna need a bigger bearskin! I’m seeing four buttons on the tunic and yet there’s no blue plume? Pah! Clearly these amateurs don’t know the Irish Guards uniform very well… 😉
As a final flourish, I’m planning to play “Soldiers of the Queen” on repeat from my military band music collection. Hopefully, Queen Vicstrawia and the Guardsman might even attract a few votes from the visitors to the competition? Wish us luck!